Gingerbread Whoopie Pies
2c all-purpose flour
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. each ground ginger, nutmeg, salt
¼ tsp. ground cloves
¾ tsp. baking soda
¾ c light brown sugar
8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
¼ c molasses
3 Tbsp. crystalized ginger, finely chopped
1 large egg
¼ c buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Filling
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ½ c powdered sugar
6 oz. cream cheese, cut into pieces, softened
½ tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Garnish with powdered sugar
DirectionsWhisk flour, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, salt, cloves and baking soda together in a medium bowl. Set aside. Whisk brown sugar, melted butter, molasses and crystallized ginger in separate large bowl until combined. Whisk in egg, buttermilk and vanilla until combined. Add flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula just until dough comes together. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick mat. Roll dough into balls using 1 scant tablespoon. Space balls evenly on prepared sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until puffed and just set, 11-13 minutes. Let cookies cool on sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
For the icing, using a stand mixed fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and powdered sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. With mixer running add cream cheese, a little at a time, and continue to beat until smooth. Beat in vanilla extract and pinch of salt as needed.
Spoon or pipe 1 tablespoon of icing evenly onto bottoms (flat side) of 24 cookies. Top with remaining 24 cookies. Dust with powdered sugar or they will not taste sweet enough. Store cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.